New city. New friends. New Paige?
When Paige's parents move her familly from Virginia to New York City, Paige doesn't know where she fits in anymore. At first, the only thing keeping her company is her notebook, where she pours her worries and observations and experiments with her secret identity: ARTIST. With the confidence the book brings her, she starts to make friends and shake up her family's expectations. But is she ready to become the person she draws in her notebook?
Laura Lee Gulledge's stunning art digs deep into the soul and exposes all the ups, downs, and sideways feelings of being a young adult on the edge of the rest of your life.
I loved watching Paige grow in confidence as she decided to share her notebook--her thoughts, desires, emotions--with first her friends and then her family. She forced herself outside of her comfort zone, she purposefully did awesome artsy things for the community, and she was a consistently good friend. All that, and she never once came across as fake or unrealistic. I really liked Paige!
But the real greatness of this book is not its plot or characters: it is the drawings. Gulledge has a phenomenal talent for drawing the emotion rather than the literal scene. For instance, when Paige decides to show her notebook to Gabe, she is shown handing him her heart. Which is exactly what it feels like, to give something so intimate to someone else! Later, Gabe returns the favor by giving Paige his heart (his notebook of stories).
Again and again I had to stop reading because the drawings were so perfect, whether it was the cold of NYC cutting into her or Paige pulling a brick wall around her shoulders as a blanket to keep the world out. Gulledge is a genius.
Five out of five metaphors made real.
Release Date: May 2011
Reading Level: Grade 6+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: GRAPHIC GUL